Writing 101 – Fool Me Once

Fool me once, fool me twice, fool me once again, it’s been a long, long time.

Today begins the journey of responding to daily prompts for the next 30-days in an effort to get my writing off the blocks and put an end to the dry-spell I’ve been having since my last set back over a month ago. Wouldn’t you know, the prompt is less than inspiring to me. I’m determined, however, not to let this stop me. As Louis L’Amour whispered to me yesterday, I needed to simply start writing, no matter what.

This is my no matter what.

There is a song from the 1940’s that went like this

Kiss me once, then kiss me twice
Then kiss me once again.
It’s been a long, long time.
Haven’t felt like this, my dear
Since I can’t remember when.
It’s been a long, long time.

When I first saw the prompt, it reminded me of the lyrics from the song. It keeps playing over and over again in my mind. The prompt asks us to publish a post that gently pranks my readers. Readers? What readers? Really, I’ve got nothing. I’ve never ever been good at practical jokes, better known as pranks. What’s a practical joke anyway and what good is it when it’s done on the first of April when everyone is waiting for it?

Just once in my life did I pull a prank. It was not a good one nor was it practical. The moment it was put into action, a bad feeling came over me and I tried to pull the plan back. It was too late.

We were living in Iran at the time. My sister was a senior in high school and I was a sophomore. We were walking home from a friend’s house at the little American community at which we lived. Our friend lived on one side of the community and we lived on the other side which was probably six or seven blocks away. As we walked home, a plan began to hatch.

It sounded funny at the time. It was probably my idea, as I was the stupid one. How I got Eliz to agree with me, if this were the case, I don’t know because she was usually much smarter than me that. Somehow we thought it would be funny if we told mom that I got hit by a car. Eliz would run ahead of me and break the news to mom. I would follow a few minutes behind and shout “April Fool’s”. We would all break into laughter and then enjoy a delicious snack before dad got home.

What were we thinking?

Eliz had no sooner took off running, disappearing from sight when a bad feeling came over me. Perhaps we were tempting fate. I certainly didn’t want to get hit by a car so perhaps it would be best if I hightailed it to the house and get in the front door as quickly as possible. I began to run to the house at record pace.

By this time, Eliz had burst into the house breathless from her own run home. Mom was in the kitchen making dinner when Eliz made her appearance, exclaiming “mom, mom! Debra got hit by a car”. There was no hesitation on mom’s part. She dropped what she was doing and ran out the door full steam ahead.

As much as Eliz wanted to stop the act, it was too late. Mom was in action and in her concern was much too fast for Eliz to stop her. She was left in mom’s dust, trying to keep up unable to get the words “April Fool’s” out. The whole thing was like a freight train out of control and we were about to hit head on.

From the moment I saw mom with a wild look of fear in her eyes, I knew we were doomed. Confusion crossed her face as she tried to process the scene. “April Fool’s!”, I lamely said. What else could I do? I watched as mom waffled between relieve and anger. All the while as she was running toward the accident scene, a million thoughts ran through her mind. Hospital and ER conditions here were quite different than the US. What if they needed to airlift me back home? How badly was I hurt?

Now that she saw I was okay and that this was just the meanest, thoughtless April Fool’s joke ever, she was ready to hurt us herself. I wouldn’t have blamed her. There were not enough apologies possible to make up for the errors of our way. From that moment on, playing an April Fool’s joke never seemed like the right thing to do.

Ironically, just over a decade later, shortly after my son cycled off to school, I received a frantic call from his ex-babysitter telling me that my son had been hit by a car. It was no joke, though thankfully, a broken arm and face abrasions were the major extent of his injuries. I felt so blessed. Blessed that God had watched over my son. Blessed that his life was spared. Blessed that I would have my son tucked in his bed that night.

Later that night I thought about that day so long ago and what we put mom through even if it only lasted for less than 15-minutes. Never again. Never again.7271660904_7c3f44c281_z

Fool Me Once



  1. I could almost feel the “fight or flight” adrenaline response kicking in with the description of your mother’s reaction. Of course, by then you and your sister were experiencing the same thing, for different reasons. Great story!

    Liked by 1 person


    1. Thanks, Lola! My mom was the stereotypical “wait till your father gets home” mom so those times when she went straight for the gauntlet, you knew you woke her wrath. This was one of those times.



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